CMB Alum Christina Carlson at the Center of the COVID-19 Response

As a CDC scientist, Christina Carlson (CMB PhD ’13) uses her cellular and molecular biology expertise to help manage the coronavirus pandemic

While most of us have been doing our best to avoid contact with the novel coronavirus, Christina Carlson MS’08, PhD’13 has been in the thick of it. As a Laboratory Leadership Service (LLS) fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), she’s been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlson grew up in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, and those small-town, rural roots influenced her interest in science. “I spent a lot of time outdoors and developed an early and lasting fascination with nearly every aspect of the natural world,” she says.

As an undergraduate, Carlson attended the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, where she discovered her true passion: cellular and molecular biology. She continued exploring the field with master’s and doctoral degrees from CALS and a UW master’s degree in public health.

It was during her time at UW that Carlson first encountered the CDC program she would eventually join. She was captivated by the work they performed — from emergency outbreak response and surveillance to technical assistance and support.

“I couldn’t help but imagine how rewarding it might be to someday apply my scientific knowledge and skills to positively impact human health on a population-wide level, within and beyond the laboratory,” Carlson says. Fittingly, that is exactly what she’s up to now.

Read the full Grow article here.